Security and the Lack of Feeling for the Patients

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As I read “Introduction to Computers for Healthcare Professionals” by Irene Joos, the completeness of the subjects was very appropriate. It covered everything that we in the IS departments are dealing with; whether a small hospital like mines or a huge hospital in Florida where I have a friend working. She emailed me last week about the provider order manager module they are bringing up and the EHR we are currently beginning. Security, yet availability to everyone has become the hot topic. Safety and checks is the same be it for physician, nurse or patient. AARP had a great article this month about checking the safety of your hospital and what to watch for. Everyone is watching and we need to have access to this safety. The huge safety net for all of us that the “computers” are supposed to be giving us can provide “all of their help.”

The security net I am referring to is the bedside medication verification system that we have implemented and approximately 5-10% of other hospitals to date. The pharmacy has rules written for many conditions and warnings are given to the nurse. However inherent in any program is the lack of expertise (medical) involved in the development. One of the ones that come to mind; is if the drug has been given recently why are you not flagged – it’s the nurse’s responsibility to look. If the morphine is not the right amount it will still let you give it, it just tells you it may be the wrong amount. Again, problems begin to be developed if no medical person is involved in the writing of the program.

Nurses try everyday to “cheat” the system, I just think it is part of a game like playing in Vegas almost!

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